In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [ Images ], Jayalalithaa said the recent conference of chief ministers on internal security had ended on a note of optimism for the state governments, with the ministry of home affairs agreeing to step back in areas concerning public order and the police.
In this context, she said the proposed amendments to the BSF Act, 1968, were as objectionable as the NCTC.
She said this item was contained in the supplementary agenda notes that reached the chief ministers only on the day of the conference. 'Hence my views expressed at the conference did not carry my state's response to this matter'.
She said members of the Rajya Sabha had, as early as on March 29, 2012, requested that the subject be discussed in the conference of chief ministers. With more than two weeks at their disposal, 'I am surprised that the ministry of home affairs had proposed this as a supplementary agenda item'.
The provisions of the proposed amendments to the BSF Act 'smack of a desire to smuggle in a mechanism inspired by the same goals as those behind the setting up of an operations division in the NCTC, through the back door'.
Noting that the prime minister had directed the Union home minister to convene a separate meeting of chief ministers to discuss matters concerning the NCTC on May 5, she said that since the amendments proposed to the BSF Act 'seem to have a similar motive, it would be appropriate if these are also discussed at the same conference'.
She also requested that no further action be taken on the Bill in the Rajya Sabha till the views of the chief ministers are heard.
Interestingly, another chief minister, Narendra Modi [ Images ] of Gujarat, too had raised similar objections in a letter to the prime minister sent last week. In fact, Jayalalithaa had met Modi and Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday in New Delhi's [ Images ] Tamil Nadu Bhavan, after the trio, along with other non-Congress chief ministers, launched a scathing attack on the United Progressive Alliance [ Images ] for its stand on the NCTC at the conference on internal security.